Origination Stories

by Ramesh Ponnuru

Over the weekend, Andy McCarthy argued at NRO that the origination clause of the Constitution puts the House in the driver’s seat on spending. “As the clause elaborates, when the subject at issue involves spending public money, the Senate ‘may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills’; but it may not instigate spending. The Senate can tinker within the spending limits set by the House, but it must live within those limits.” Over at Bench Memos, Matt Franck argues that neither the text nor the history of the clause support this view. Speaking as someone who has never given the origination clause much thought, it’s an interesting debate.

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